tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN January 4, 2013 8:00pm-10:30pm EST
>> the gentleman from new york. >> thank you. i yield myself time. i am pleased that today, on this floor, though it may be late, we will finally act on legislation to increase the barring of party on behalf of the national flood insurance program. by increasing financing 99 $.7 billion, this will provide relief to one or 227,000 flood victims. i support the bill as a recovery from superstorm sandy. i believe the actions are still slow. 68 days have gone by. i know we have got commitments, but we are moving forwards and i
am hopeful we will get the full entitlements the individuals from new york, new jersey, and connecticut finally need. some of the programs that need funding include engineers who work to protect new jersey's and york's shorelines. i want to thank every member of the new york, connecticut, and new jersey delegations for working collectively together to make sure our people -- because this as an issue that affects the american people -- they receive the kind of aid they need. i want to say to my friends mr. -- i have seenne they have set and work together with our governor, who i also want to give a thank you to,
mario cuomo and chris christie -- working cooperatively, not as a democrat or republican, but as an elected official, to come together for people that need aid from a terrible storm. i am hopeful we will need store work -- move forward. finally the people of this region receive the kind of aid that it needs. >> gentleman from new jersey. >> i think the gentleman for his congress -- for his comments. i yield to the gentleman from texas, the chairman of the financial services committee. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you.
there is no doubt that hurricane sandy rendered unspeakable damage to lives and property owners on the east coast. it represents one of the great natural disasters of recent history. for millions of our federal -- our fellow citizens, the devastation has been unspeakable. it is time to rebuild homes, buildings, and lives. for the victims who pay for flood insurance policies with the national flood insurance program, their claims need to be paid and paid now. madam speaker, here is the tragic reality -- the national flood insurance program is broke. it is beyond broke. it is now taxpayer bailout broke. not unlike our nation, broke, trillions in debt. debt to the chinese, the shameful bill sent to our children and grandchildren. so right here and now, members
are faced with a tragic choice of not paying contractual claims to victims who pay premiums or adding $9.7 billion to an insane national debt that threatens our national security, economic well-being, and our children's future. emergency bills like this should not come to the floor without offsets to pay for it or structural reforms to ensure that taxpayer bailouts are never needed again. less than 24 hours into a new congress, there is not time for this. i have long been critical of the national flood insurance program. for more than four decades, is in spirit -- this experiment has proved to be ineffective and inefficient. last congress, we passed a reauthorization bill with modest reforms to begin illuminating
outdated subsidies and get the program -- >> the gentleman yield an additional 30 seconds. >> outdated subsidies and get the program to a path toward actuarial soundness, which sounded -- which sandy has hit the for these provisions could take affect. i wish to inform all members in this congress, our committee will take up legislation to transition to a private, innovative, competitive sustainable flood insurance market. and the taxpayer validates -- taxpayer bailouts. a tragedy should not become a fiscal tragedy for our children tomorrow. >> gentleman from new york. >> thank you. i think the gentleman for his leadership and for yielding.
the victims of superstorm sandy can wait no longer. it has been 11 weeks. haven't they suffered and waited long enough? the people who we represent, who sent us to washington to serve and who are now not merely crying out for help, they are screaming for assistance, demand we act without further delay and pass this bill to immediately increase the borrowing authority of fema to carry out the intended purpose of the national flood insurance program. that help is embarrassingly overdue. if we fail to act and do not pass this bill, there is a total of 120,000 flood insurance claims payments that will be delayed and not paid. this bill before us now will temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the national flood insurance program by 9.7 billion dollars. much more is needed, and a vote
has been promised a $51 billion on january 13. that absolutely needs to happen. funds for katrina past this house in less than two weeks. we have been waiting for 11 weeks -- 11 weeks. funds for gustav passed very quickly. the northeast corridor has been waiting for 11 weeks. it should not take much imagination to appreciate what it is like for those have been waiting -- for those who have been waiting. for 11 weeks, they have been waiting while this body sat on a bill that should have long ago been signed, sealed, and delivered. they wait for the billions they need to rebuild. they needed for the transportation system. they needed to make sure that this does not happen.
they wait, many shivering, in the cold of new york, where a temperatures -- where temperatures are again below freezing. they are in hotels, with friends. they are waging. this body needs to act and today. it is long overdue. >> time has expired. gentleman from new jersey. >> i yield to the gentleman from new york that recognizes that the people of new york have not been waiting. their insurance has been paid from day one. >> thank you. i rise in strong support of this legislation. it is the first necessary step that is needed to provide the assistance and relief and aid the people of new york, new jersey, and connecticut require after the most devastating storm in the history of our region.
in many ways, one of the top two or three most severe storms in the history of our nation. people are suffering. suffering increases each day. this is the first major step. his process will be completed on january 15. i want to thank the leadership of both parties for coming together on this. this legislation is vital. this is not a handout. this is not a favor. what we're asking for is to be treated the same as victims as all other storms in all other natural disasters have been treated. this is part of a process. in the legislation that was originally coined to be introduced in this house, it was never earmarked in the bill. there was never any extraneous spending in the bill. it is important for both parties to realize that. house of representatives ill was always targeted -- bill was always
targeted toward victims of hurricane sandy. as the vote goes forward, the real suffering is out there. y ownpeople -- and mine an neighborhood -- a woman lost a home. a crisis of unimaginable proportions. the media is not following it. if you went to the homes and saw the suffering, if you saw the people that do not have food and shelter, you would realize how horrible it is. ,et's all stand together as one democrats and republicans. th on or christie and cuomo has set that tone. -- governor christie and cuomo have said that tone. >> gentleman from new york.
a manould not tlike to call who has been a leader in new jersey. for one minute. >> the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker, and i want to thank my colleague from new york. this action from the house republican leadership is too little too late. i am still very upset and i think it was deplorable that the speaker did not bring this bill up and the whole package that addresses hurricane sandy release in the lame-duck session in the last two days of congress. it would have been passed. we had the votes. it would have been on the president's desk. he would have signed it. now we have another delay. i have no idea what the senate is going to do. my understanding is the senate is mired in filibuster over the
next three weeks and is not even coming back until after the inauguration. that means we could be waiting another three weeks. the rest of the packaget month e most important of it, may not return until we return. we are going to be on recess. now that we have three separate votes on this package that could have been passed and signed into law over the last couple of days. three separate votes. it is not acceptable. >> gentleman from new jersey. >> to the other gentleman from new jersey. >> i rise in strong support of hr 41. i want to thank leadership for posting it today. i am proud to be a cosponsor. the devastation unleashed by sandy is without precedent, and
the impacted communities are in dire need of assistance. nowhere is this more evident than in the magnitude of the housing damage and housing need. according to governor christie's office, hurricane sandy destroyed 346,000 housing units. of that number, some 72,003 hundred 97 were covered by the national flood insurance program whose owners have submitted claims and are awaiting the insurance payout for copperheads of repairs. only 18% have received funds pursuant to their claims. over 80% of my constituents are waiting in limbo in an entire global -- an intolerable situation that is making a bad situation worse. throughout the region, there are a total of 115,000 insurance claims related to sandy. many of them are waiting as well.
this is must pass legislation. we have an obligation, a duty, to meet this need an obligation. this legislation takes us in that direction. >> time has expired. gentleman from new york. >> i want to thank mr. garrett for earlier. his request to make sure we included on this bill every member of the new york, new jersey, connecticut delegation as sponsors of this bill. and every member of the committee -- and i want to thank the ranking member for agreeing to be an original cosponsor -- it shows that we are all willing to work together. i want to thank eric for his cooperation on allowing everybody to be part of this bill. i would like to yield two minutes to the individual who
walked with me up and down rockaway at breaceach. >> i want to congratulate all of the members who represent new york, new jersey, connecticut, pennsylvania, and other jurisdictions who have been united in a bipartisan way to say let us reach out, let us act now to help those who have been savaged by sandy. i rise in support of this bill that will help and sure -- help ensure flood insurance benefits will be available for those struggling to recover from superstorm sandy. while it is never too late to do the right thing, it is late that we are doing this thing. and we are doing only the bare minimum. because the flood insurance will expire. frank is absolutely right. the senate hopefully can act by unanimous consent.
on this small portion. as we did on katrina, we should have acted almost immediately. the pain and suffering and loss of the citizens, our fellow americans, who were the victims of sandy, but should not have been the victims of our delay. i support this legislation. and i urge the speaker and all of us on both sides of the aisle to ensure that on the 15th of this month we act for the balance of the initial balance that will be available to assist those who have had this loss. i will be very supportive on the 15th. and i know the people of connecticut, new jersey, new york, and sylvania, and america will hold this -- pennsylvania,
and america will hold the speaker and all of us to the promise that no later than the 15th of this month -- 11 days from today -- we will make a all contribution -- full contribution to those people. >> time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey. >> i yield to the gentleman of new jersey who also recognizes that there have been no victims of delay when it comes to the flood insurance program because their payments have been made continuously. >> thank you. it has been 70 days. the residents of the northeast have been living in misery and heartache. i am pleased we are taking this step to support the national flood insurance program, which has met the needs of americans across our nation when there has
been flooding crisis. we in the northeast have been facing this crisis for 70 days. i am glad this essential program is going to be supported. there are about 100 and 25,000 sandy-related claims -- 125,000 sandy-related claims. we need to rebuild lives to put aside the misery that so many families and businesses have been suffering. it is the right step on january 15. we will be considering a much larger supplemental, a total of $60 billion which will meet the needs -- not all the needs of connecticut, new jersey, new york, and the region -- but the national flood insurance program
is a good program. it needs support. this is a good first step. let's do it in a bipartisan manner. i yield back. >> gentleman from new york. >> i yield one minute to the ranking member. >> thank you for yielding. hurricane sandy has devastated new york. thousands of thousands of my constituents lost their homes and their businesses. it is a shame, and embarrassment for this institution that the house republican leadership continues playing games with this essential assistance. more than two months after the storm struck. it is indefensible that, as
americans continue to suffer from sandy's impact, the house majority could not get their act together to bring the package to a vote. talk about fiddling while new york city burns. this is the case with today's legislation. it is another sign of the majority's dysfunction. with the might just days away from being unable to pay flood claims, the argue amongst themselves about what to do -- from fema being unable to pay flood claims, they argue amongst themselves about what to do. they are getting nothing. we, as an institution, come together when there are natural disasters across this nation. my
constituents deserve nothing less. >> time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey. >> i am pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey who has yielded efforts on the ground to help restore some of these people's homes. >> recognize the gentleman from new york for two minutes. >> thank you. i would like to take 15 seconds astell chairman garrett, much as i appreciate him bringing this bill to the floor today, his visit with his wife to one of several of the homes that were continue -- completely cover the stating, -- completely devastated, he brought hope to people. i will be eternally grateful
for that to passion letting people even outside his district know that he is bare and cares about them. i called someone this morning from staten island and they have a teenage son named dylan and have not been back in their home since the storm. i asked how are you two sons doing. he said they are doing great, but dylan has not gone back to the house since the destruction because he gets choked up. is that that i want to emphasize. these are human beings. children that had been completely displaced. and it is up to us to get them back on their feet, so today is one of those steps that i am proud to be a part of and tell delay that he -- and tell dylan that he is going to be back in his house. i would ask going forward with the others parts of sandy
relief, my colleagues will stand with me and tell dylan he is going to be ok. i would like to tell my colleagues across the aisle, it has been a pleasure and we have a lot of work to do. thank you, chairman. i yield back. >> gentleman from new york. >> i yield two minutes to the ranking member of the appropriations committee. >> to the woman from new york is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you for your eloquence. madam speaker, i rise in strong support of this legislation and i would like to thank chairman for his efforts to bring it to the floor with bipartisan support. the national flood insurance program has hit its limit. without an increase in borrowing authority, it will be unable to pay for claims as early as next week. that means that 120,000 flood insurance claim payments will be delayed, and nearly all of
which due to hurricane sandy. however, this bill is not enough. it is not adequate. in december, the senate passed an emergency assistance package to aid in the sandy recovery which included this legislation. earlier this week, i expected the house would vote on a complete emergency assistance package to aid those in connecticut, new jersey, new york who have lost homes, businesses, their livelihood. sadly, the 112 congress and it without action. now we are starting over on an important legislation that is critical to help storm affected areas that should have and could have -- there is no reason it was not signed in 2012. we have now been promised a vote on the sandy emergencies assistance package by january 15.
families in my district throughout the region are looking to congress and asking, "why are you making it so difficult for us to rebuild? why are you making us wait to rebuild? " today's legislation is a start toward providing relief to those who have suffered as a result of hurricane sandy. we do not need a piecemeal approach. we need a comprehensive land be recovery bill -- a comprehensive sandy recovery bill today. we need this complete will. >> gentleman from new jersey. >> i am pleased to yield one minute from the gentleman -- to the gentleman from new jersey. >> recognized for one minute. >> it has been 68 days since
hurricane sandy devastated the northeast and over two months of suffering for my constituents. while it is unfortunately long overdue, i am pleased we are finally here acting to help the people of new jersey recover. this hurricane has caused aliens of dollars in damage, uprooting families from their homes -- billions of dollars in damage, uprooting families from their homes. my constituents need help now. i have witnessed firsthand the devastation in places like seaside heights, normandy beach. i can honestly say these places look like war zones after the storm. whole communities have been wiped out. governor christie estimated the damage to be over $36 billion. i applaud his swift actions on sandy recovery and join him with all local and state federal leaders make sure all of the
funds get to new jersey's homes and businesses as quickly as possible. i urge the passage of this essential legislation. >> gentleman from new york. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey, the member of the ways and means committee. >> gentleman from new jersey is westernized for one minute. >> we are having a sadie hawkins dance here today. we're patting each other on the back, but the real sponsor of this legislation are the people who have been hurt. let's be honest. it took only 10 days after christina -- after katrina until president bush signed. how dare you come to this floor and make people think everything is ok? one of the people from new jersey said we have not waited at all. the insurance runs out in one week. what are we going to do?
wait for one week and then act? we would not even be here. who are you kidding? but we all come together very nicely this morning for breakfast and ask. and we know what has happened over the last 10 days. this is a total disaster in helping those people that we are pompously saying today and pontificating about we are helping that. -- helping them. isn't that wonderful? you're not doing anybody any favors. that is why we were sent here. try it once in a while. democracy. you might like it. >> i yield two minutes to the gentleman to realize it is not just what we do on the floor but it is also the volunteer and dedication. >> i want to thank the chairman for recognizing me.
i want to say that i support this bill, not because i support the increased our wing that we are doing for our flood insurance -- the increased borrowing that we are doing for our flood insurance, but it is a contractual agreement that we owe to these policy owners to fulfill the claims. it is not their fault that we in the government are not good managers of their money. in this program was put into place, we had a borrowing authority of $1.5 billion. it was not until katrina that we raised that borrowing authority up to $20 billion. we still owe $20 billion. we are now raising that borrowing authority to $30 billion. in 2017, which is four and a half years away, the borrowing authority goes back to $1.5 billion. i am sure we will address that
in 1159 on september 30 of 2017. i would like to ask the size of the aisle let's start working on that now. this cost to the government is $1763 for every policyholder who has flood insurance. the average rhenium is about $600. we have paid people 10 and 20 and 30 times for claims that live in the same house and the same floodplain. i had an amendment to the flood insurance bill that said if you had two claims due to flooding and you did not take the payout, you would have to pay a rate-based premium. it did not pass. we have got to get into reality what this flood insurance program is for. it is mandatory that if you
have a government-backed loan and you live in a plane that is likely to flood in 100 years, you have to have insurance. >> yield an additional 15 seconds. >> we need to make sure what we're doing doing is something that can manage itself and does not continually having to raise the borrowing authority. i do support the bill. it is a congressional obligation that we have to these policyholders and i asked that everyone support it. >> i would like to bring up the ranking member of the foreign affairs committee. the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. >> i rise in strong support of this legislation, but i must say tuesday night when i find out -- found out we were not taking this legislation up in the previous congress was the
angriest i have been since i have been a member of congress. in the last 20 years, this is the longest people affected by natural disaster have waited for congress to provide relief. it is not acceptable. i have voted for aid for all areas of the country whenever there has been a natural disaster, and the northeast deserves the same. the new york is a donor state. we give more to the federal government then we take back. now we need help. and politics should not be played with the help we need. we should be supporting the entire package. i am sorry we are not voting the entire package today. we now have to wait the senate to pass whatever we pass. this could have been gone and done on tuesday night. the eight would have been feeding to the people. this is not acceptable, and i hope there is no further delay. i constituents arkansas offering. -- my constituents are suffering.
>> gentleman from new york jersey -- new jersey. >> just a sec the record straight, the eight under this program is going and has been going to the recipients in the affected area because there was funding in this program before. what we're doing now is to make make sure that aid will continue to go to those people who have contracts for insurance. i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york. >> thank you for yielding. i rise in strong support of the legislation. as was intimated moments ago, in the summer of 2011, my district was struck i hurricane irene and we came together as a body to support my constituents.
due to the assistance provided, we are in the process of rebuilding. now we come together in the wake of this devastating natural disaster, sandy, i stayed, along with my neighboring states, were struck again. making sure my community has the resources they need has brought me to the floor once again today advocate for new york's families, businesses, and farmers. the national flood insurance policy -- program exists for circumstances like this, but more remains. we must come together to address the immediate needs and rebuilding efforts. i am committed to this effort. i am proud of the bipartisan work we have achieved today. we need to continue that. i want to thank the gentleman from new jersey for bringing this to the floor today. >> the time remaining on both sides? >>
the gentleman from new jersey has four and three-quarter minutes remaining. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey. >> the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. >> the delay in helping the victims of hurricane sandy is obviously inexcusable and unjust. but it is equally obvious that the time has calm to do what we can to help solve the problem. that is why i am for the passage of this bill today. it will help flood insurance claims be honored and paid so people can go about the work of rebuilding their homes. you heard about the january 15 vote that is coming on the rest of the plan. i think we should not be holding out false hope about that, because here is the reality. i am certain we will vote on
january 15. but the constitution says the other body has to vote, too. they have to start all over again. than the president has to sign the bill. it is my strong hope that the leadership between now and january 15 will reach out to the leadership of the other body and try to pre-negotiated bill that the senate will quickly and expeditiously take up to solve this problem. the house taking a vote on january 15 is lovely. it is also utterly meaningless if the other body does not act. i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentleman from new jersey. >> i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from a state which is not immune from national disasters. the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. >> today we are doing the important thing, the critical thing. i wish this had been what we had voted on in the previous session, to recharge the flood
insurance that needs to be there so men and women in connecticut, new jersey, new york and the like will not question whether or not their country can provide them with the resources that are expected to be there in a time of national disaster -- natural disaster. i rise today to say that january 15 is critical. as the previous speaker say, we id, we do need to negotiate to get the pork out. the pork that we will not vote on today is the pork that was in this bill from the senate. my hope is we will see on january 15 a negotiated clean build that only deals with the
men and women and families on the eastern seaboard that to be taken care of. i think it is the president's responsibility and our responsibility and the senate's responsibility that, when we do these bills, to make them only about the emergency. the people in the eastern seaboard that are suffering, that time is running out and all of our leaders need to make sure the next vote will be a vote that will be pre- negotiated, will run through the senate, and will deal only with the people suffering on the eastern seaboard. >> it is important to point out that the house bill does not contain any of those extraneous provisions. when the bill came over here, we agreed on all that was taken out so that was nothing about any state than was expected -- affected by sandy. >> had we been able to vote on
the house bill and send it back to the senate, the senate would have taken that up, although they had left town. we could have done this in the previous congress. the gentleman from new york has been a champion to make sure that was clearly understood. i want to be an equal champion to make sure that wherever the next storm occurs, we do need to make sure we owe them that. i want to thank said that -- thank the gentleman from new york for working so hard to make sure we do get to a clean bill. >> time has expired. the gentleman from new york. >> i think the gentleman. i would like to place remarks and the record for hurricane sandy relief. >> i will yield one minute to
the gentleman from new york. >> gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. >> i support this bill today to replenish the hurricane insurance fund, which would otherwise run dry for the entire country next week, but it does not excuse the callous action of the house leadership the other night in taking the $60 billion of relief often table. now we are told we will get a vote on the 15th and i hope they are as good as their word, although they have not been in the past. even so, it will take. knows how long for the senate, because the building a past is now dead, this being a new congress. that action the other night, delaying the release for the long-suffering people, the business owners whose businesses are going under, the homeowners -- all of this was delayed for at least three weeks, maybe longer, on top of the fact that we have gone
already nine weeks. this is the most callous action i have ever seen. the leadership of this house should be condemned for it. i hope they have the determination to make sure that this comes to a vote on the 15th, that it passes, and the senate is induced to match it quickly. that would be the least that decency would demand. >> recognizing that someone on the other side -- that some on the other side of the aisle cannot take yes for an answer, i yield my time. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey. >> i was thinking that maybe there is a bias against the northern section of this country. this devastation can happen to any state. no one state has the money to make sure those people that were injured in the storm can move
forward. i will remind all of those members that i am not here supporting this will -- that are not here supporting this bill that this could happen to your state. i supported alabama, mississippi, texas. i was hoping that by now the northeast part of this country -- congress would have acted. it has been 77 days. those people are hurting. he poll in my district still cannot get to their homes. here we are, in the last congress, we did not do anything. now we are moving forward, and hopefully, january 15 we can get the rest of this money so those people that are suffering in all of the states that were hit either the storm can get their lives back together again. >> gentleman yields back. does the gentleman from new jersey continue to reserve question mark >> i yield one
minute to his floor debate, the gentleman from new york. >> my name is sean maloney. i am new here. i do not know all the rules of washington, but it sure seems like the rule here is to put off till tomorrow what should be done today, even when our fellow americans are suffering. a long time ago, i learned from my mom and dad and our parish rule.t and much better wil it is called the golden rule. people in new jersey and the hudson the late live by it. they let storm victims through the darkened aisles of their hardware store for critical supplies and their hour of dangerous need and supported them like there were -- like
they were their own family. they did not make papers wait 60 days for help. they did not say they could do more later. they acted speed and caring. this new congress can start a new today. we can act with speed and caring. we do not need to wait. i urge my colleagues to bring additional relief to the floor as soon as possible and support the bill today. i yield back my time. >> time has expired. >> how much time do i have remaining? >> two and a quarter minutes. >> i yield to the gentleman from texas -- the gentlewoman from texas. >> it is obviously needed. i come from the gulf region. we lost thousands through hurricanes. hurricane ike saw this congress give us $3 million. i stand here to remind you that
a police officer., a 13-year-old died with debris falling on her. it is long overdue. i stand here as someone who has been a beneficiary. i demand this money be passed today, but i demand we passed the total amount of money right now today. let's help the american people impacted by sandy. >> does the gentleman from new jersey wish to continue reserving? >> yes. >> gentleman from new york. does the gentleman from new york have any additional speakers? >> i have one. >> gentleman from new jersey? >> i have no additional speakers. >> i yield one minute to the ranking member of the financial services committee, the honorable maxine waters.
lex recognize for one minute. >> i am so proud of the members of this congress on both sides of the aisle who have been real advocates. you have been on television, and fighting. i am from california. i have witnessed earthquake disasters. i have been involved with trying to help with katrina and making sure that the people who were the victims of katrina were compensated, were taking care of. this is unconscionable that this has had to take so long. i watched the congressman and walk away -- and rockaway. i watched the people who cried and begged for assistance. this is so late in coming, so i support this bill. i am one of the co-authors of the flood insurance reauthorization bill.
.et's put the money in it let's do what is right. let's take care of this. >> the gentlewoman's time has expired. one and a quarter minutes remaining. new jersey has two and a quarter minutes remaining. >> i yield myself. >> it is 70 days. unprecedented that this region has not been treated like the other regions when they were in need of help. it is 70 days. we are going with this bill today. what we are receiving is a promise very note -- promissary note that, on january 15, we will be able to say to the victims that their united states congress are going to be by their side. so we have a promise versary no.
it has got to be put in the bank and stamped that we have votes necessary for the people of this region. they have been suffering. they have suffered long enough. they need to hear from their government that their government is with them. i, wherever the disaster may be, will say we have to support them. make sure we put forward this note because we cannot go back home -- a democrat or republican cannot go back home after january 15 and say that check has bounced with insufficient funds. we have to come back and say to the people that are suffering that they have been helped by their government, their people.
i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey is recognize for two and one quarter minutes. >> i think everybody who has addressed the situation. for those of you who live in the affected area, our heart goes out to the families. the moms, the dead, the children, the senior citizens that have lost everything, homes that have been inundated with water so it is unrecognizable, homes that have been knocked down, have to be refurbished, started from the foundation back up again, homes that have been washed ashore or out to sea and will never be seen again, homes that have been destroyed, trees that have crashed through homes, electricity that has been out for weeks. our hearts go out to the people that have suffered for so long and continue to suffer. i think numbers of both sides of
the aisle for coming to the floor to support this legislation. i thank the volunteers who took it upon themselves without any government mandate or edict or pay to go out and say let's work for these people day in and day out. the oam people, the management people, the fire department, and rank and file folks who came out and try to help them continue to do so. groups out there on the front lines to support these people in their hour of need. i extend an invitation to every member of congress who has come to the floor and said that they support these people, who put on their work shoes and work boots and get out of this congress and get out of the city and go into the area and not just gives the kids -- not just give speeches and other peoples money, but to come to our our state and join us in the field
and do the work that is necessary to get done. i extend that invitation to everyone. i look forward to hearing from everyone of you. i asked for your support for this legislation. we heard the number earlier. this is a nonsustainable program. flood insurance. it cannot go on. we need to work together on this. i look for a yes vote in this legislation. >> time has expired. >> the bill approved by the house is the first part of the senate's $50 billion aid package for sandy victims. the senate also improved the house version of the bill by unanimous consent. after that, new york senators chuck schumer spoke about hurricane flood relief.
>> good afternoon, everybody. let me say a few things here. we are glad the house and senate acted and provided another $9.7 billion to the national flood insurance program. without this program, we would have run out of money in flood insurance, leaving over 100,000 sandy victims in a lurch. i would like to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in the senate and in the house for making this an easy and effortless passage. we hope and pray that the next bill will be similar. we do not expect it to be the same. but we are worried. so i want to
say a few things here. first, it is good news that the house passed the bill. we have visited people who are depending on flood insurance to help rebuild. it pays about $250,000 limit, so for most of the homes that have been hurt and destroyed, and it pays you to the bulk or completely for the damage. some of the destroyed damage will be more than $250,000. the bad news is we had to go through this dog and pony show in the first place. last month, the senate passed a good, strong bill to help all of the victims of hurricane sandy. the house could have simply taken it up and passed it. that is what it should have done. i promised to vote on a similar version before the last congress and it. unfortunately, this changed at
the last moment. we do not need to get into the we do notht now, but want it to happen again. to be a bride left at the altar once is bad enough. to be left at the altar twice would be unconscionable. so we need the house to move forward and pass the full $60 billion. we also need them not to put language in the bill that would make it more difficult for homeowners, small businesses, localities to get the eight. -- the aide. we will have to examine their language closely. let me just say this -- the $9 billion is a good thing. there is no question about it. the $9 billion is a good, but small first step. flood insurance relief is a small down payment on a much
larger amount we need to get through the congress. the job has hardly begun. we must make sure that passing this bill is not the end or even the middle, but only a start. guess who has not helped in the bill. hundreds of thousands of homeowners who do not have flood insurance who either lost their homes or suffered major damage. they cannot sign contracts for repairs until the contractor or the bank that is making a construction loan knows that there is money to reimburse them. right now, they know nothing of the sort because the money is not there. the account that would pay for that is dried. there is no money, even with the passage of this first, small measure for small businesses. small businesses that are hanging on their fingernails.
because they have been out of business for three or four months. not only do they not have the wherewithal to repair their business, they have not had any income because their businesses are not functioning. we need help there. this does no help to help rebuild their shoreline so we are not naked if the bill does not come for the next month. there is no help in this bill for that. nor is there help for all of the localities that have laid out billions of dollars, and if they are not reimbursed as the federal government has always reimburse localities, taxes will skyrocket in the new jersey and new york areas. this bill is a small first step, but it hardly gets at what we need. our governors requested $80 billion. the administration script it to
$60 billion. the senate passed the $60 billion, and that was good news. that was a good, large step forward. the are waiting for the house. then we will have to wait the ideal situation would be for the house to pass the same bill that we passed in the senate and then we could almost certainly unanimous consent it as we did on the floor with the flood insurance but if they make changes, leader reid has promised it will be the first thing we take up when we get back and we will not rest, we will not rest until the full $60 billion is sent to new york and new jersey to provide the relief that our homeowner, our businesses, our communities so desperately need. >> thank you, senator schumer, for your steadfast leadership in fighting for the families in new york and new jersey who so desperately need this money.
it's been a very, very tough holiday season in new york, i can tell you, and families are wondering how can we begin to rebuild. so much of what's available just doesn't cover everything. fema covers $30,000, a little more. this flood insurance money is absolutely vital for those who have flood insurance but relatively few families have that insurance so we need the rest of the money, the cdbg money, to begin to rebuild homes. we need the money for roads and businesses and sewage system and infrastructure, we need that money to flow so cities can rebuild and we need to make sure businesses have a small amount of money to rebuild what's been left and so that's really what the families are waiting for. they look to us in washington to say can they come together, can they get this work done, can they find those core common values to be able to offer some amount of help at a time when it
is so desperately needed so i was very grateful that the house passed the first $9 billion. it makes a difference we were able to do it unanimously here but as senator schumer said, this is just a small first step in the direction of meeting the real needs these states are undergoing. new york has always stood by every other region of the country when they have undergone natural disasters and this is a moment in time when we desperately need other states, other senators, other members of the house, to stand by new yorkers. it's a time of grave and precious need. families are still not in their homes. children are not necessarily in their school so we want to make sure they can rebuild their homes, be back in their communities and that's what we need this money for so i'm eager to work very hard on this next package. we need to have a package out of the house that mirrors what we passed in the senate. senator schumer and i and lautenberg and menendez will work night and day to make sure
the needs are being met. >> we're ready for your questions. >> can you expand on your concerns about what's in the house bill and talk about specific measures? >> we're going to wait because we're trying to work with them but there are provisions i have seen that are different than the senate bill and make it harder for funding particularly in the areas of n.i.h. and army corps of engineers. >> senator, there were relatively small amounts of money in the senate bill for causes other than sandy. they caused a lot of controversy. why is it so important to keep them in? >> we've always had a tradition here of when we do disaster bills, of dealing with disasters, that have not been paid for. there are parts of irene that haven't been paid for. there are parts of the tornadoes in missouri that haven't been paid for. there are parts of the flooding in north dakota that haven't been paid for so we've done what the senate has traditionally done. now, the house has moved to take
out some of those but we'll see what happens. the bottom line is none of this is extraneous to disasters and i think that people, if the house wants to take it out, we'll have to deal with that in senate. it will obviously make some people not happy and may make it harder to pass but we've gotten such good support from our senate members on both sides of the aisle for helping the people of sandy that i think we could overcome it. >> one of the things people should recognize, some of the language was just opening up these vehicles for other states to apply for the same kind of money so allowing other states who have been affected by disasters in the last year to apply for that cdbg money or fema money so that's what makes the difference because we haven't had the opportunity to do relief in the other states so brought into what we asked for for sandy victims to allow other people to make the applications to the federal government. and that was a sense of fairness.
>> there are some who use things as excuses, ok, and some -- some people have said, well, there's pork in this bill. there are no non-disaster-related things in this bill. shean donovan and the o.m.b. scrubbed it to make sure that happened. this are some who say we shouldn't do mitigation, that's a reason they don't want to vote for the bill. we've always done mitigation when it comes to disaster. it makes no sense to rebuild a building in a flood plain the exact same way and we can't tell people to move up the hill a mile up the hill, we're too densely populated. there are some who have said we should make sure the down payment for the localities is larger than it is. if you tell a lot of our localities they have to pay 35% of this huge damage, they'll never rebuild. same thing with home homeowners and small businesses who have lost everything so i do think a lot of people who don't want to vote for this -- not a lot. i think there's generally good
will on both sides of the aisle and in both houses to help us but some will use things as excuses. >> do you anticipate holding talks with house leaders? >> we have already started doing it in hopes of getting the best bill possible and a bill that both the house and senate can pass as quickly as possible. >> do you have any reaction to paul ryan voting against the national flood bill today and concerns about unrelated money to sandy? >> flood insurance is an obligation of the federal government. in other words, people who have paid flood insurance have paid hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars a year and in return the federal government says if you're flooded, we will reimburse you for the damage you suffered so i don't understand why anyone would not want to vote for that provision. i haven't heard congressman ryan's reasoning.
>> he says we shouldn't give money to a program that needs reform first. >> well, that is just terribly harsh to a homeowner who's lost his home. should they sit around two years and lose their lives until we reform the program. there's nothing wrong with reforming the program and we should and we've made effort to do it already but to hold the homeowner who is desperately need the money and have paid in for this money as almost hostage to reform, that's unconscionable, unconscionable, wrong. and i would hope he would reconsider. >> why are you working to get the other $51 billion out. is it your understanding that the house republican leadership is on the same page here? i think you suggested they might not be? >> we'll see. there was a huge problem with speaker boehner pulling the bill. we all know that and now we
think there's a much better tone and attitude on both sides. it was always good on the democratic side but on the republican side in the house but we'll have to work out things in the next few days, week or two, to see if that can create the kind of bill we need. >> and there also seems to be renewed commitment that this is something we will come together to do and i think that is a helpful place to start. >> we are actually -- i am and i think i speak for kirsten, we're more optimistic today because i think people realize that playing games with this money was broadly unpopular in every part of the country and with every political stripe. >> i want to switch gears for a minute. >> let's stay on sandy. >> without reneging on the contractual obligations to flood insurance policy owners, do you agree that the program needs to be privatized ultimately?
>>il -- i am not for privatization of flood insurance. there were not private insurers who would insure homes at rates anyone could afford. flood insurance didn't come from a push from the northeast but it came from a push from florida and the gulf states and the carolina who is had reported -- repeated hurricane damage and the reason there's flood insurance and a government program in flood insurance is the private sector wouldn't handle it. >> have you gotten any idea from fema when this borrowing authority would take the form of checks and how far it would go in terms of claims or time? >> fema, i think, will be pretty quick. once they get the dollars. they've done that already. billions, over $3 billion, has been distributed already to both individuals and governments. it's not close to enough in terms of the amount of the damage but fema's been pretty quick in its distribution.
the problem is the law limits what they can do and the average -- i asked, i was in long beach, a community of 35,000 people where almost every house was damaged. the average home experienced more than $100,000 in damage. if you lost your bottom floor, your electric system, your boiler and there's structural damage, it's hard in new york to rebuild that home and make it better even without mitigation for $31,900. it's virtually impossible so even when fema is pretty good it's not enough and the cdbg money that would go to the homeowners and small businesses that we've talked about, they don't have any money. their cupboard is bare. >> does that affect your plans for pursuing the sandy tax relief bill? >> no. we've always had tax relief bills after major storms and
irene had a tax relief bill similar to the one we all put in with sandy that is still not -- has still not passed but that would be as part of the next tax measure that comes forward. we wouldn't mix apples and oranges here. we can go to other subjects now. >> i was hoping you could talk about your proposal for gun control and closing gun show loopholes and background checks, if you could describe. >> several of us after working very hard with vice president biden on reasonable gun control measures because we want to preserve our rights, we want to preserve the constitution, the second amendment, but we also want to protect our families so there's reasonable common sense reforms like limiting the military style weapons designed only for military use, limiting the types of rounds of ammunition that deliver very significant numbers rapidly, they're also designed only for military uses. common sense reforms on trafficking. we don't have a set of laws that prevents someone from bringing weapons from one state to another state. in new york, it's one of our biggest problems.
85% of the weapons news crimes come from out of state and 90% of those weapons are illegal so it's a huge problem in our state and those are the kinds of common sense things we can work together. we can also work together on mental health issues. i am hope half with senator schumer's leadership and vice president biden we can come together and create a reasonable agenda. >> right now there are a lot of senators talking about what specific proposals to pursue, some related to guns, some related to mental illness, and other issues, as well. people are talking about violence, the general violence in video games and television in our society as a whole and we're working closely with the white house. senator biden has his measures and i think you'll see a package emerging when we return to session. >> are specifically talking about gun shows? >> we all have our own views. we've introduced specific bills
on many of these issues but i think it's important for us to come together and figure out the right package and it will be something that i think really deals with the problem but at the same time is respectful of second amendment rights. i think that's the only way to go. >> can we go back to sandy for a second. there were concerns raised on the house floor this morning about when the senate could get to this sandy bill because you've got filibuster reform and these other things going on. >> leader reid has said -- >> what's the time line? >> leader reid has said it will be first order of business and it is my hope we can get the whole thing done and on the president's desk by the end of this month. >> you're on the finance committee. which proposal or proposals do you favor to raise revenue through tax reform through deficit reduction this year? >> we've just passed a major tax revenue producing measure. there are lots of them on the
table. i'm not going to get into the specifics yet. we'll sit down on the finance committee and discuss the various things available. >> which of the two proposed filibuster reforms do you support? >> the bottom line is we have to do something, the senate's broken. if we cannot come to a bipartisan agreement, we have to get 51 votes for some kind of change in proposal and that's easier said than done. so we're measuring. i think there's consensus on the democratic side we have to do something. and i would like to go as far as we can with something that passes and that's what we're trying to work on. ok? i believe we need real change. >> can i get your response to -- >> this is the last one. >> your response to the op-ed in the houston "chronicle" saying that a partial government shutdown might be necessary. >> i haven't read my copy of the "houston chronicle" this morning
yet but i think that risking government shutdown, risking not raising the debt ceiling is playing with fire and it is my strong recommendation to my caucus and the house democratic caucus and to the president that we make it clear not in the middle of february but from next week on that we are not going to do that, anyone who wants to come and negotiate and say we'll do this, only if -- we will raise the debt ceiling only if you do,a. , b., c., will not have a negotiating partner and if then they don't want to raise the debt ceiling, it will be on their shoulders. i would bet that they would not go forward with that. if they are convinced that those who want to use the debt ceiling as a tool to bring change that they want, if they realize for
sure that they're not going to have a negotiating partner, they'll have to find another route to bring the change they want and they won't risk the full faith and credit of the united states. the only way they get leverage is when they think we might negotiate on those issues, is a very sad moment in 2011 when that happened and i think there's a strong consensus at both ends of pennsylvania avenue among democrats, not to repeat what i would call i think what most of us would regard as a mistake. ok, thank you, everybody. captioning institute] cable satellite corp. 2013] >> tomorrow on "washington journal" justin hyde a senior edit looks at the strength of car sales in the u.s. taxpayers for common sense talks about congressional action about emergency assistance for victims
of hurricane sandy. and author of "bet the farm" how food stopped being food and discusses food prices rising around the world. >> next the electoral colleges for president are announced in congress. then senator john hoeven followed by ang justice king. >> the big discussion i remember was what is richard nixon going to do? >> i remember going home and you're scared to death. this is like a time bomb. this gets out and gets in the press, it is a disaster for all of us. >> he came to me and said the president council has brought me a list of, i think, 50 names of
people and wants a full field investigation. that is a very unpleasant thing to have happen to you. >> it was shortly after the farewell speech i got a call and it was he said we forgot one thing. i said what is that, reforgot a resignation letter. you don't get it, you need to write it. >> i thought the best way not for me as a trained historian but i was not a nixon specialist for the players, key people living from that era to tell the story themselves . i thought the best way to this is to start video history program that involved the key players on the left and the righto to have them tell the story and use portions of the story in the museum to let
visitors understand the complexity of this drama. >> the former head of nixon's museum. detail of the oral history project sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> the electoral college vote has affirmed president obama's re-election. vice president joe biden redied over and announced the valleys. the final count was president obama 332, and republican mitt romney 206. here's is that session. it is about 30 minutes.
>> the tellers will read the portions of the certificate pppings our regular form will read the votes by each state beginning with alabama. >> the certificate of alabama and it appears from that mitt romney received nine votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received nine votes for vice president.
>> mr. president, the certificate of the vote of the state of alaska. it appears that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received three votes for president and paul ryan received three votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of arizona seemed to be in regular form and authentic and it appears that mitt romney of massachusetts received 11 votes of for president and paul ryan received 11 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the
certificate of the electoral vote of the state of arkansas seems to be authentic. it appears that mitt romney of massachusetts received six votes for president and paul ryan received six vote for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of california seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears that barack obama of the state of illinois received 55 votes for president and joe biden of the state of delaware received 55 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of colorado seem to be regular in form and it appears that barack obama of the state of illinois received nine votes for president and
joseph biden the state of delaware received nine votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of connecticut seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears that barack obama of the state of illinois received seven vote for president and joseph biden of the state of delaware received seven votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of delaware, somebody you're familiar with, seems to be regular in form a and authentic and it appears that barack obama of the state of illinois receives three votes for president and joseph biden received three votes for vice
president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral of columbia appearance to be regular in form and barack obama received three votes for president and joseph biden received three votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote from the state of florida seems to be in regular form and barack obama of the state of illinois received 29 votes for president and joseph biden received 29 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of georgia seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received 16 votes for president and paul
ryan received 16 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of hawaii seems to be regular in form and authentic. barack obama received four votes for president and joseph biden of the state of delaware received four votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of idaho seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears that mitt romney received four votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received four votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the stateo of illinois seems to be regular and authentic. it appears that barack obama received 20 votes for president and joseph biden received 20
votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of indiana seems to be regular if n form and mitt romney of massachusetts received 11 votes for president and paul ryan of wisconsin received 11 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of iowa appears to be in form and authentic. barack obama has received six votes for president and joseph biden 6 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of kansas appears to be regular in form
and authentic. mitt romney of massachusetts has received six votes for president. paul ryan of the state of wisconsin has received six votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the commonwealth of kentucky appears to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from that mitt romney of the state of massachusetts received eight votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received eight votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral votes of the state of louisiana and appears to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from the that mitt romney of the state of massachusetts received eight
votes for president, and paul ryan of wisconsin received eight votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of maine appears to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from bed barack obama of the state of illinois received four votes for president, and joe biden received four votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral form of the state of maryland appears to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears that barack obama received 10 votes for president and joe biden received 10 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of michigan appears to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears
there for that barack obama has received 10 votes -- 16 votes for president, and joseph biden received 16 votes for vice- president. expects -- >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of minnesota seems to be regular inform and authentic, and it appears there from the barack obama of the state of illinois received 10 votes for president and joe biden of the state of delaware received 10 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of mississippi seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received six votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received six votes for a vice-president. >> mr. president, the
certificate of the electoral vote of the state of missouri seems to be regular in the form and authentic, and it appears there from that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received 10 votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received 10 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of montana seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from that mitt romney received three votes for president and paul ryan received three votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state and nebraska appears to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney has received five votes for
president and paul ryan has received five votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of nevada appears to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that barack obama has received six votes for president and joe biden has received six votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of new hampshire appears to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that barack obama has received four votes for president and joe biden has received four votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of new jersey appears to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there form that barack obama has received 14 votes for president and joe biden has received 14 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral
vote of the state of new mexico appears to be regular in the form and authentic, and it appears there from that barack obama of the state of illinois received via a a -- five votes for president and joe biden of the state of delaware received five votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the great state of new york appears to be regular in the form and authentic, and it appears there for that barack obama received 29 votes for president and joe biden received 29 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of north carolina seems to be regular in the form and authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney of the state of massachusetts received 15 votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received 15 votes for vice president.
>> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of north dakota seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received three votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received three votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of ohio seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from the barack obama of the state of illinois received 18 votes for president and joe biden of the state of delaware received 18 votes for a vice- president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the lead role both of the state of oklahoma seems to be in regular -- the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of oklahoma seems to be in a regular form and authentic and it appears there for that mitt romney has
received seven votes for president and paul ryan has received seven votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of oregon seems to be in regular form and authentic and it appears the barack obama has received seven votes for president and joe biden has received seven votes for vice president. mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of pennsylvania seems to be in regular form and authentic and it appears there for the barack obama has received 20 votes for president and joe biden has received 20 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of rhode island appears to be in regular form and authentic and it appears there for that barack obama of the state of illinois receives for votes for president and joe biden of the state of delaware received four votes for vice president. writes mr. president, the certificate of the electoral
vote of the state of south carolina appears to be regular in the form an authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney of the state of massachusetts received nine votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received nine votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of south dakota appears to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney of the state of massachusetts received three votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received three votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electorate will -- electoral vote of the great state of tennessee appears to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received 11 votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received 11 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the great state of
texas seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received 38 votes for president and paul ryan and the state of wisconsin received 38 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of utah seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received six votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received six votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of vermont seems to be regular inform and authentic and it appears there from the barack obama of the state of illinois received three votes for president and joseph biden of the state of delaware received three votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of --
commonwealth of virginia seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from the barack obama of the state of illinois receives 13 votes for president and joseph biden of the state of delaware received 13 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of washington seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from the barack obama of the state of illinois received 12 votes for president joseph biden of the state of delaware received 12 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of west virginia seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received five votes for president and paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received five votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral
vote of the state of wisconsin seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears there from the barack obama of the state of illinois received 10 votes for president and joseph biden of the state of delaware received 10 votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of wyoming seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from that mitt romney of the commonwealth of massachusetts received three votes for president paul ryan of the state of wisconsin received three votes for vice president. >> mr. president, the certificate of the -- >> members of congress, the certificates having been read, the results will be obtained and the results calculated by the president of the senate. quite the undersigned, charles e. schumer of new york, lamar alexander of tennessee and
miller of michigan, brady of pennsylvania on behalf of the house of representatives report the following as a result of the ascertain and an accounting of the electoral vote for president and vice president of the united states with the term beginning january 20th, 2013. quakes' state of the vote for president of the united states has delivered to the president of the senate is as follows. the whole numbers of the electorate is 538, of which a majority is two hundred 70. barack obama of the state of illinois has received for president of the united states 332 votes. it romney of the state of massachusetts has achieved two hundred six votes. the state of the vote for president of the united states is delivered as follows. the whole of the electorate appointed to vote for president is 538 and the majority of which is 270.
joseph biden of the state of delaware has received for vice- president 330 two votes. paul ryan aof the state of wisconsin has received two hundred six votes. this announcement of the state of the votes shall be deemed sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the united states, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of january, 2013, and shall be entered, together with a list of votes, in the journal of the senate and house of representatives. last page. ok. the purpose of the joint session having been included pursuant to the senate resolution 113 of the 113th congress, the chair declares the giant session dissolved. -- joint session dissolved.
british policy of exporting weapons. on news makers, debbie's death and now, chairman of the agriculture committee. debbie stabenow. >> if i did not have my case coming up, i would like to come back with you gentlemen after this is over with and really lay the dog down about what is happening in this country. i would like to talk to the united states of america about what is going on. >> his family goes all the way back to italy. he settled here in rhode island, worked his way of pursuing low- level kinds of crime, but eventually became the crime boss of new england with his headquarters on federal hill in providence, rhode island.
sometimes people think mob guys are dem deese and does kind of guys. that is not true of all. they are incredibly intelligent. they pulled some scams on wall street that would make bernie madoff look like a piker. they were shaking down people, extortion. they viewed it as just protecting your business from other guys who might try to shake you down, and of course murder for hire, etc., so their repertoire grew and grew as a result of their trying to protect their turf and their way of doing things. >> more from rhode island pose a state capital as book tv, american history tv and c-span slowpoke a a content cables look behind the scenes at providence, saturday at noon eastern on book tv and sunday at 5:00 on american history tv on c-span-3.
>> now, a conversation with republican senator joe woven of north dakota. he was a guest on washington journal. this is about 45 minutes. host: we want to welcome back senator joe oven. as you begin the 113th congress, will it be different than the last one? guest: absolutely. we have to find a way to reduce the debt and deficit and find solutions. that means coming together on a bipartisan basis. host: mitch mcconnell said we
need to avoid 11th hour fights like we saw with the fiscal clef. how do you get there? guest: it is a challenge. i hope the work we went through on the fiscal clef demonstrated to everybody in the house and senate that this is not the way to do business. let's get after it come and get it done, get it done before the deadline. but the key is people are going to have to recognize that it takes by partisanship, but it also takes real solutions. we also need tax reform as well. we made some tax cut permanent, but we need tax reform. each side has to give to get to a real solution.
host: the white house and president said he is not going to be part of this fight. he is not going to negotiate over the debt limit. guest: look, his responsibility is to lead. that means working with congress to come up with solutions. working on the debt ceiling is a huge part of that. if you look at any of the ideas that have been put forward to address the deficit and debt and the long-term growth of this country, it involves not only tax reform, it involves entitlement reform, balancing the budget and controlling spending. all of those things go into controlling the the debt the right way. host: has the president been a leader on these issues? guest: he needs to be more
engaged on these issues and he needs to tell the people of this country what he believes the right plan is. host: that we go back to what senator mcconnell said and ask you to put some specifics to these words. guest: a similar plan passed the house committee, but the fall plan did not get through the house. we are improving the farm policy for farmers and ranchers, but at the same time, finding real savings. the other thing, when you put a
five-year plan in place, you create certainty. that certainty stimulates investment and that stimulates economic growth that not only means putting people back to work, but creating real revenue to address our deficit. that certainty stimulates investment and investment stimulates economic growth. that not only putting people back to work but growing economy, economic growth creates real revenue to address our deficit. host: should there be means testing on social security? guest: i think we're going to have to look at a number of things in terms of the entitlement programs including means testing. when you talk about means testing, you probably going to have to look at medicare.
for upper income people, we are going to have to do some means testing in medicare. in social security, what we've talked about -- even the president come forward on this -- which is good, that's looking at chained c.p.i. looking at the index. we have to do it in a way with we make sure we protect current recipients, particularly low income. i think that's one of the kind of bipartisan reform that we're working on for social security. i think for means testing, that's where looking at something along those lines for medicare. host: should tax loopholes to be changed or adjusted for large corporations? guest: sure we need tax reform. one thing that we did do addressing the fiscal cliff and obviously much more needs to be done, we did make the lower tax rates permanent. that permanency is important to create certainty to get economic growth and get business investment. yes, we do need to address the deductions and closing loopholes. but we have to keep our rates down. it can't be just raising taxes. it's about making simpler fairer tax code that stimulates business growth. host: when you talk to your constituents what's the number one question you get about washington and the politics in this town?
guest: why can't you guys get together and do what i said. have a big plan and put it in place that does all of these things. progrowth tax reform, entitlement reform and reducing spending, balancing the budget so that we get on a long term trajectory for growth and job creation and make sure we're strong. host: you can joining us on facebook or twitter. you can send us an e-mail or give us a phone call. senator hoeven, why is it so hard to get to that point? why can't democrats and republicans bridge the divide and reach a compromise? guest: it reflects the debate going on in the country and in between bigger government, higher taxes and more spending versus more limited government. lower taxes and more of growth in the private sector. you see that in the country and that's reflected in the representatives. host: did the election provide any clarity on that?
guest: actually the election, we stayed pretty much status quo. you've got a republican majority in the house, you're got a democrat majority in the senate and you've got democratic administration. the democrats controls two- thirds of the government. which is why the president has to step up and provide leadership on these key issue that's helps the congress bridge this divide, which isn't just in the congress but the people of this country saying, these are different views of how we governor. we've got to come to come together and get the job done. host: you had a lot of interaction with the president? has the republican leadership had close interaction on a personal level with the president? guest: no, we need presidential leadership to join with us. host: let's go to mel joining us from clay pool, indiana, go ahead please.
caller: good morning. i think there's one thing that they could possibly do to help balance the budget and that was -- the whole group everybody including the president, be willing to take a tax cut -- i'm sorry a wage cut. guest: since i've been in the senate, which is now two years, we have reduced the senate pay and the budget from the senate offices. we're going to have to continue to find those kind of savings not only for the senators of congress but across government as we talked about earlier. we've got to find ways to reduce spending. host: let's go to benton, illinois, good morning to you, democrats line. caller: yes. i want to make a comment about
the payroll taxes that everybody is having suchal fit about paying 6.2 now. yearsremember, i'm 74 old, i can remember paying 13% of payroll taxes for social security, which i'm on and they're talking about reducing? after i paid this kind of money. i get a little upset about it. another thing i wanted to comment about, this last bill that was paid, i didn't pay too much attention to the pork that was ended until it got to nascar. i'm a nascar fan from several years back but to subsidize nascar for improvement to their racetracks. give me a break. this is the kind of pork that we certainly do not need.
these people make so much money, they don't know what to do with it half the time. host: thanks for the call. also related twitter comment from our viewer are you going to reject the pork in the sandy bill that's voted in the house today. guest: she made a couple points. first the payroll tax that you pay, that's the funding of social security so people pay into social security system which is retirement system and then they have social security when they retire. what happened was, several years ago, as part of the negotiations going back to 2010, that was reduced to 4.2% as part of the effort to stimulate the economy. it's just reverting to the 6.2% that historically has been at and again, that is funding for social security, which obviously we need to keep sound and make sure it's there for the long term.
that's not an increase, that's what the rate always been and it just reverted after the two year tax holiday or reduction in the social security payment into the system. the other point about nascar and the fiscal stimulus legislation, in that legislation, there were a number of tax credits which were extended, is a tax credit nascar was able to use. that was existing tax program that rather than allowing it to drop away, it was extended i think -- we have to look at all of those kind of things and figure out where we can save. you and atalked about earlier. we need tax reform to address those kind of things as well as any pork any of these things. we have to make sure that the work we do is done in an open transparent way so that the things do get funded are things that the american people know
about and they feel fair. host: the gun push opens the new congress and the president saying he wants this to be a top agenda item. guest: i think everyone agrees we to look at seen what we can do. it goes back to going to that bipartisan support. that means, not just a discussion of guns but looking at violence in our society. whether the video games, movies, security, what we can do in our schools or other areas, it's got to be done in a thoughtful way with bipartisan support. host: if all that is the on the table and there's an agreement
on mental health, would you support any restrictions on the high-powered rifle or magazine clips used in the most recent shootings? guest: i will have to see what the recommendations to solutions are? one of the things senator lieberman and others have talked about is having a commission on violence where you look at these things in a comprehensive way and do it on a bipartisan basis, so you have a thoughtful dialogue, open and transparent, the public sees what's going on, and the recommendations. host: do you support the nra? are you a member? guest: yes. host: now to the phone. good morning. caller: my question has to do with budgets. the house has sent a budget to the senate. the senate has failed to act on
that. they have had no budget of their own. the president presented his budget to the house which was defeated 14-0 with no democratic support. what will it take to get the senate to pass a budget? everybody's talking about deficit control. that all begins with having a budget. guest: we not only need a budget, we need a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, which i have always supported. we have to not only get our budget through the senate, which i am pushing to do. the republicans are not the majority, so we have to get to push a balanced budget through the senate as well as the house. but we have to have a balanced budget amendment. host: john hoeven spent 10 years as governor of north dakota. what's the better job? guest: i would say being
governor most. of the senators here, who were former governors, will tell you the same king, because you can set an agenda and go after it and you have a lot of control? on how you put that in place and work to get it done. here, it's tougher. however, i came to this job because i believe our country faces real challenges, as we have been discussing, but i want to be part of the solutions for the american people. i believe in this country and i believe we can do great things. we have to buckle down in a bipartisan way and get this done. it's not easy and does not happen in the short term. it's a long-term proposition, but we have to get it done. that is worth doing. that's why i am here and will continue serving my state. host: you have a new colleague, heidi heitkamp, many republicans thought they would pick up that seat, landed in democratic hands. guest: i have known her many years. we worked together on a range of
issues. i will meet twitter again this morning after i leave here. we have had discussions on anything from energy to health care. your husband is a doctor. she's very knowledgeable about health care and has talked with me some ideas i look for to working with her on. i've spoken to her about some things i want to do to stimulate energy in this country. i look forward to welcoming her to the senate. host: what piece of advice do you have? guest: i want to be careful about giving anyone advice. i would just say we need bipartisanship. i think she and i will work together to be part of the solution on these issues in a bipartisan way. host: this -- guest: i think we need reforms. you and i just talked about them and i have already given a couple specific examples.
in medicare, i think we need to look at some means testing for upper-income individuals and we need to look at the indexing. i think we can make these reforms to entitlements in a way where we are not changing them for people who are at or near retirement but for the future recipients. i think you can get support from republicans and democrats to do it and broad public support, because for seniors at or near retirement, they know the program will not be changed for them, but for younger people they will support the reforms because they know we have to make reforms to save the program and make sure they are there when they retire, when they need medicare. that's how you do at. there are specific examples. host: west palm beach florida, with senator john hoeven of north carolina. caller: good morning. i have a comment and
question. i think it's very important that you explain the difference between the debt limit and deficit reduction. they are two separate things. the debt limit is you have to authorize the money to pay for what you have spent. deficit reduction is what we are going to do going forward. my question is for the senator, they want to change social security to a chained cpi. what other programs, that, raises, what else do they have a theory like this? what state are you from that it's going down? and what is our alternative? guest: no question we have to
find reductions in the growth of health care costs. that will take reforms, everything from cutting out fraud, waste, and abuse, to creating a system that incentivizes the right kind of behavior is on the part of consumers. we must find ways to control the growing cost of health care, no question about it. as far as the chained cpi, the idea is you apply that across all of government for all of these different insulators to have a more realistic assessments of the inflation rate. -- for all these different inflators. as far as the difference between the debt and deficit, the deficit is what creates the debt. each year we have a deficit. in other words, when we spend more than we take in each year,
that adds to the debt. we are at the point where the debt ceiling need to be raised. what we did the last time this came up was replaced the budget control act and said that for any $1 increase in the debt limit, we've got to have a $1 deduction in spending, because we've got to get our fiscal house in order. that's what we are talking about as we go into the debt ceiling discussion. any agreement, we have to have real reduction so we get the deficit under control so we don't continue to increase the debt the debt reduced over time. host: our guest john hoeven is former president and ceo of the bank of north dakota and a graduate of dartmouth and went to northwestern university. on facebook -- guest: i think, again, we've got to get to the point where we are moving the legislation across the floor in a clear, open, transparent manner where it is
debated, the public is aware of what is getting funded and what is not getting funded, so there is broad public support for things that have merit and they are funded. and the things that are not, in that debate back and forth, and gets dropped out of the legislation. we're at the point now where we have to prioritize, because we are spending more than we are taking in. so that's what we are talking about. that's the kind of thing a to do to reduce pork and spending and get the deficit under control. host: this from one of our force -- -- followers -- guest: you've got to come up with a solution that's more comprehensive than just talking about guns in order to get the kind of support we need to move it to congress to get it
enacted. host: on the democratic line from phoenix, peggy. good morning. caller: good morning. i heard bob woodward say this morning watching congress is like sitting in a prominent divorce court. they just squabble and squabble and there's no end in sight. maybe we as citizens have to stop singing can't you all get along, because it does not appear that is possible. another thing, politicians love to talk about waste, fraud, and abuse. when we are looking at congress, we cannot help but think congress is a classic example of waste, fraud, and abuse. 33 votes for health care reform that was going nowhere. and all the other abuses in
terms of 15 weeks off and things we see that are so infuriating. when it comes to entitlements, i never hear anybody talk about a real savings in terms of medicare would be government-negotiated drug costs. we know that saves an incredible amount. and in social security, and never hear them talk about moving up the early retirement age. they're always discussing the full retirement age. i know personally that many people who have taken the early retirement and i wonder if that would not be a greater savings. host: thank you. we will get a response. guest: i think she's rooting for the kinds of ideas we have to work through in terms of making reforms on a bipartisan basis in order to make sure that these entitlement programs are there
for the long run. and so, you put forth a number of concepts that we can work with. i would do it in a way for current recipients. not changing the system. people at or near retirement. but for the younger people, indexing in some cases, means testing some of these things, are the kinds of changes i think can garner not only bipartisan reform -- or support, but public support, because when i talk to younger people may say we are going to have to make some of those changes to make sure the programs are safe for long term so they are there when the young person needs it. host: there are a number of editorials and opinion pages this morning. here's one from the wall street journal --
is their unity within the republican caucus in the senate? guest: i believe so. with the debt ceiling, with the continuing resolution which comes up in march, and even with the sequester that has been delayed 60 days, all three of those things offer real opportunities to require savings before we put a new agreement in place. for an increase in the debt ceiling, i believe there is going to have to be a commitment by the administration as well as congress to production before we can have agreement to raise the debt ceiling. host: i could be the entire piece by eugene robinson, but i will share the first sentence.
guest: it's clearly critical. i understand that solutions by nature are imperfect. but the reality is we have got to do these things that we are talking about. we need to do it in a thoughtful, open, transparent way, not. at the last not i think that is what he's referring to. when you do it up against these deadlines, a way to do business. we talked about it earlier. i hope that running into the deadline on the fiscal cliff is something that congress will take into account as we work on the debt ceiling agreement and that we can get it done before the deadline. remember, you have talked about
how president obama, speaker boehner will approach these things, we've got to have people talking to each other and we've got to get to solutions before the 11th hour to avoid that. that is absolutely what we can do. host: we agreed to the debt ceiling limit, 16 $0.40 trillion -- $16.4 trillion, up in the last hours. guest: the treasury has some flexibility. the time has come to deal with it. there's no reason to put this off. let's get it done. host: you have a favorite for the next treasury secretary appointed? guest: i don't have names. jackal is a possibility that has been talked about by president obama, a very knowledgeable individual. if that is the president's call, it is an important appointment, so we will look at his choice
carefully. i hope it is somebody who can help work through the kind of agreement we need to address the debt ceiling. host: if he is nominated, can you see any hurdles for him being nominated by the senate? guest: i don't want to pre-judge. but he is someone thoughtful and knowledgeable and should be confirmed. host: hearings could take place within the next few weeks for your colleague john kerry to take over as secretary of state. will he face hurdles in the senate? guest: again, i think that i don't want to pre-judged the process, but i believe he will be approved. it's likely i will support him, but i would like to talk to him first. host: from clayton, north carolina, on the phone with skip. caller: there are few things.
first, i don't have any faith in the government at all. i am 53 years old. for 53 years now i have been hearing that we are going to get rid of all the fraud and abuse. 53 years, the same thing. we're gonna to cut back on spending, 53 years. this congress has done nothing but take in this country and put it in the poorhouse. i don't understand how you can raise taxes when you need money. every time you raise money, -- every time you need money, you raise taxes. my being a household, i have to find ways to cut when you guys do that. i cannot sit there and see you guys taking our money and giving it overseas, like japan. we owe japan money, so we pay them money to pay down the debt,
but we also give them money. that makes no sense to me. i would like to know something about all that. guest: i think what we spend overseas whether its foreign aid or even our military overseas, that is something we have to look at and find savings, like the caller is talking about. as far as addressing waste, fraud, and abuse, that is something that has to be worked on all the time and clearly we have to do a better job of it throughout the government's. i agree with the caller that you cannot be raising taxes to solve the debt and deficit problem. we've got to find savings and we have to do entitlement reform. so i agree with that. in the fiscal cliff agreement, we extended the lower tax rates for 99% of all taxpayers. also, addressed capital gains, dividends, the estate tax, we
made them permanent. i believe that will help create economic growth and economic growth will help create revenue to help investment and not higher taxes. on that point, i have a long history of making sure that we work to grow the economy both as a governor and now working on it as a senator, grow the economy to get revenue to address opposite. and you find savings and reforms to address the deficit and not raising taxes. host: we welcome our listeners on c-span radio. our conversation this friday morning on a washington journal. he sits on the senate agriculture committee. who's the ranking republican? guest: pat cochrane. pat roberts was the ranking member. on our system you can only be committee chairman or ranking member of anyone committee for certain number of years. that's all republicans do it. i don't think the democrats have that limitation. pat has seniority.
he actually will become the ranking member on the agriculture committee. we just voted on that yesterday. host: does that change the dynamics? does that change the debate over the farm bill? guest: it may change in a little. we passed a very good from bill emphasizes crop insurance. i think there are going to have to be some adjustments for some of the southern growers. that may help in terms of figuring out that piece of the equation, which may help us move the bill through the house. we've got a good farm bill to the senate. the house has to pass one. it has to be something that works all regions of the country. certainly, senator robert degree job as ranking member and the senator akaka and brings a lot of great experience and ip will be helpful in making sure we
pass it. -- senator cochoran. host: aline is joining us on the phone. caller: what percentage of the entitlement program go to so security, medicare, and public assistance -- social security? i believe public assistance should have tougher guidelines for people to be able to qualify for these. as a past grocery checkers, i have seen horrible news. i have a solution of a possibility. why can't the money be given to state rest homes or hospitals and then jobs created for the people. they can fold sheets and towels. there are numerous places that the government could step in and
say we will give you this money, but we need you to help us with these people. these people have to go to work. if they don't go to work, they don't get paid, just like i did. i was just wondering, we keep hearing, i'm on social security, i worked 32 years and i made some wise choices and i was married to a farmer, so i know where this all comes from. i also know that we prepared meals that right now people would not consider its a meal. but we made do with what we had. i would just like to know, as an example of the abuse, when a child would come in and buy a 3 cent piece of candy and i would have to give them change, they would walk out and pretty soon, here come the parents to buy a pack of cigarettes. so that is what i would like to know. what percentage of these
entitlements -- i feel a little angry when i keep hearing social security, social security. i paid into that all my life. host: thanks for calling from nebraska. guest: i think she's talking about some of the reforms that can and should be made in the snap program, which is the supplemental nutrition assistance program. i think we can find ways to continue to improve the system in terms of not only how much is spent on food stamps but making sure it is spent in the right way. i think that's what she's referring to. as far as what percentage that is relative to social security, medicare, medicaid, i don't know that off the top of my head. regardless whether it is the food stamp program or snap or any of these, we have to continue to find a way to do a better job. that is part of finding savings throughout all of government spending. host: on twitter --
guest: under the budget control act, we reduced the defense expenditures by $500 billion over the next 10 years. and under the sequester, that calls for another $500 billion deduction. i don't think that's the way to go. if we need to prioritize and determine where to make those savings rather than doing it across the board. that's why earlier i said for example, looking at foreign aid or the overseas operation costs, orseas basing, we can find savings. host: on the democratic line now, you are next. caller: good morning. i have a few things to say. first, the debt limit.
in 2011 when they played with the debt limit, money that republicans had already spent eight years earlier, it cost the american people and other $90 billion in interest because they did not tap it. second, the snap program and social security, what happens is we have americans fighting americans over carp. the snap program has a card now which the kids cannot go in there and get changed and all of a sudden their mother comes in and buy something else. it's all on the card now. most of that fraud is eradicated. third, social security, even ronald reagan, their choice president's, said that social security should never be on the budgets -- under budget. fourth, president obama has gone over and beyond as a leader
trying to work with republicans and john boehner has said he will not talk to the president any more. guest: we were talking earlier about the need for bipartisanship in congress. i made a statement, some of what you see in congress reflects a difference of opinion in the country. that is what you are hearing from some of the callers in terms of how we address these solutions. so it takes real leadership on the part of the president as well as members of congress to say we understand people have different ideas on how to solve these big challenges, but we've got to find a way to come together. we started out on the debt and deficit. when we passed the budget control act last year we went from just raising the debt ceiling, which is part of how we got into trouble without having a balanced budget agreement, to say no for any $1 increase in raising the debt ceiling, there's got to be a dollar reduction in spending.
host: your colleague senator pat toomey in pennsylvania said a partial government shutdown may be necessary in order to send a message that we will not raise the debt limit without spending cuts. guest: i don't want a shutdown, but we have to have real savings and reforms before it can have a debt ceiling debate. host: and the debate over the filibuster rule is something the senate will be taking up, harry reid setting perform needs to take place. some freshmen members, seven of the nine freshmen democrats say they support changes to the filibuster rule. guest: i think there will be some changes to the filibuster rule. we have been working on it. the majority leader in the senate and the minority leader are negotiating already the changes right now. i think it has to be done in a way where you continue to have a filibuster, but you have some changes that would ensure minority rights are represented in the senate, so you have the
kind of policy coming out of the congress that has broad based bipartisan support throughout public. we are talking about addressing these big challenges. we're talking outperforms to entitlement programs. when we talk about tax reform, when we talk about finding real savings to get on top of the debt and deficit, when we talk about a balanced budget amendment, that takes not just our partisanship in the congress but a sense from the whole public, both republicans and democrats, that we have craft a solution and has broadbased public support to work. host: our next call is anthony from watertown, south dakota, independent line. caller: thanks for taking my call. this goes back to the farm bill. i wondered why it has not been talked about very much, about legislation being passed for the
federal level to step out of the states' rights to either legalize marijuana or to grow it for industrial purposes like ropes and fabrics and paper, to revolutionize it. guest: the reason is the law enforcement agencies, like the dea, feel they would have a difficult time enforcing the law between marijuana, which is actually smoked, and hemp, a similar plant, but is used for making clothing and materials and that kind of thing. the reason i believe congress has not passed this is because law-enforcement has said they are not able to enforce the law to make sure illegal uses of growing a drug versus growing plant for clothing manufacturer is not something they would able is not something they would able to enforce.